Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 1st term.

Born: January 1, 1974, Port Angeles

Home: Gig Harbor

Education: Princeton U., B.A. 1996, Oxford U., Ph.D. 2003

Professional Career: Mgmt. consultant, McKinsey & Co., 1999-2002; V.P., Econ. Development Bd., Tacoma-Pierce Cnty., 2002-12.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: Married (Jennifer Kilmer) , 2 children

Democrat Derek Kilmer succeeded his political mentor, retiring Rep. Norm Dicks, after winning the 6th District seat in 2012.

Kilmer grew up as the son of two public school teachers in Port Angeles, where he first met Dicks at age 18. “He’s been a really great mentor for me over the years,” Kilmer said in an interview with National Journal. Watching the town’s economic struggles in the wake of the timber industry’s decline prompted Kilmer to pursue a career linking public policy and economic development. He got a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford in England in social policy, with a focus on economic development.

In 2002, Kilmer went to work for the nonprofit Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. As a vice president, he talked with 200 businesses a year in an effort to broaden the economies of communities like Port Angeles, long dependent on timber. “How do you put more legs on the stool so it’s more stable,” he said. “How do you diversify a local economy to help it prosper?”

Kilmer was elected to the Washington House as a Democrat in 2004 and two years later moved to the state Senate. He rose to chair the chamber’s Capital Budget Committee, where he promoted legislation to create jobs by borrowing money for public construction. In addition to economic development and education, Kilmer focused much of his time as a legislator on veterans’ affairs. Naval Base Kitsap is in the 6th District, and veterans make up more than 15 percent of the population.

Dicks gave his protégé the early word in March 2012 that he would not seek a 19th term. “He told me, ‘In about an hour I’m going to announce my retirement, and you should figure out what you’re going to do,’” Kilmer recalled.

A military background was one major difference between Kilmer and his GOP challenger, Republican businessman Bill Driscoll, who had served in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and also worked in the timber and real estate industries. He called the federal deficit the biggest threat to national security and departed from Republican orthodoxy in calling for tax increases tied to specific spending cuts. Driscoll also supported abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Kilmer maintained a strong lead in the polls, and he made sure to let voters know that he was running with Dicks’ backing. The district’s major newspapers also endorsed Kilmer. The Seattle Times called him “a problem solver who can be bipartisan,” and The News Tribune of Tacoma praised him for having “an uncommon understanding of trade, business taxation, smart regulation, job creation, and other fundamentals of economic growth.” Kilmer won the contest with Driscoll, 59% to 41%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5916

(202) 226-3575

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1520
Washington, DC 20515-4706

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5916

(202) 226-3575

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1520
Washington, DC 20515-4706

DISTRICT OFFICE

(253) 272-3515

(253) 272-3516

950 Pacific Avenue Suite 1230
Tacoma, WA 98402

DISTRICT OFFICE

(253) 272-3515

(253) 272-3516

950 Pacific Avenue Suite 1230
Tacoma, WA 98402

DISTRICT OFFICE

(360) 373-9725

345 Sixth Street Suite 500
Bremerton, WA 98337

DISTRICT OFFICE

(360) 373-9725

345 Sixth Street Suite 500
Bremerton, WA 98337

DISTRICT OFFICE

(360) 797-3623

332 East Fifth Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362

DISTRICT OFFICE

(360) 797-3623

332 East 5th Street
Port Angeles, WA 98632

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 1381
Tacoma, WA 98402

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(253) 572-4355

PO Box 1381
Tacoma, WA 98402

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Aerospace

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Animal Rights

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Arts

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Campaign

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Commerce

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Education

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Family

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Health

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Housing

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Human Rights

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Immigration

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Labor

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Land Use

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Medicare

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Military

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Native Americans

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Public Works

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Recreation

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Rural Affairs

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Science

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Seniors

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Tax

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Trade

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Transportation

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Veterans

Aaron Wasserman
Legislative Director

Women

Megan Thompson
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Derek Kilmer
Votes: 186,661
Percent: 59.0%
Bill Driscoll
Votes: 129,725
Percent: 41.0%
2012 PRIMARY
Derek Kilmer
Votes: 86,436
Percent: 53.41%
Bill Driscoll
Votes: 29,602
Percent: 18.29%
Jesse Young
Votes: 18,075
Percent: 11.17%
Doug Cloud
Votes: 14,267
Percent: 8.82%

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